As I talked about in my ten tips for running with type 1 diabetes post here, I believe strongly in starting slow. With that in mind I thought it best to trial intervals before coming up with any grand plans to run a certain amount of them in my training for the sub 25 minute 5k.

So, with that in mind I jogged for 5 minutes to my local park as a warm up; did some stretches, and decided to try as many 30 second hard runs as I could manage. (With 90 second walking / slow jogging as a rest in between)

Wow… now that is tough. By the time I reached number 3 I was wondering just what on earth I’d signed up for!

But, as always, I decided that its best to quit while you’re still ahead and left it there, safe in the knowledge that 4 x 30 seconds as a starting point when I start my training for the next goal properly is very achievable.


Why bother introducing intervals at this stage? Its a good question… Given my first 5k after my type 1 diabetes diagnosis was ran after only 6 weeks of proper training (detailed here), if I did nothing but carry on jogging slow and steady for a few weeks it’d seem reasonable to expect some progress in terms of time. After all, I was not running very far at the start of my training (just over a mile each time)… but I still think its a good idea to try these runs out, for the following reasons:

  • Keeping things interesting – It makes a nice change from only jogging. Don’t get me wrong, as quite an introverted person having that time to think when going for a jog is great and has certainly helped me deal with the mental side of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes this year.
  • Less issues with managing blood sugars – Now it is important to stress that I’ve only done one of these sessions so far, but it’d seem sensible to expect less of a blood sugar drop when I’m out for 15 minutes or so, rather than the 30 minutes or so of my 5k. It transpired that way as well. Of course, there is still a lot of trial and error to go here, but not having the fear of a hypo in the back of my mind when exercising was a nice change.
  • Practising ‘digging in’ – Given my training for my first 5k was quite stress-free (part of a deliberate plan to take it easy), when I got caught up in the pace at the start and ran too quickly it was probably inevitable that I would get a stitch. I did get through it, mainly due to having ran much further in the past back in my non type 1 days, but it was still a shock to the system. When I next run a 5K there is absolutely no chance it will be harder than an interval session.
  • Making my slow pace seem easy – After recovering from my third run, the jog home seemed ridiculously pleasant in comparison!


So intervals… they’re definitely something I’ll be including in my sub 25 minute 5k training plan.

Disclaimer – It is essential that you do not take on board any advice given on this website without first seeking the advice of a medical professional. Any descriptions of different ways in which I manage my type 1 diabetes on this website, including in the comments, are given in good faith, and are shared merely as suggestions which should be ran past a doctor or diabetes specialist nurse. 

Published by Marcus Pezzaioli

I started in September 2018 to document my attempts to get fit after a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes in April the same year. I believe sharing my story can help anyone who is afraid to exercise with type 1 diabetes, and show that it is not as complicated as it may appear from other sources of information out there. If I can do it, with no CGM and on MDI, starting out as somebody who does not fit the athletic profile whatseover; then anybody can.

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